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The relationship between insect sting allergy treatment and patient anxiety and depression

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Quality of life is affected by history of bee sting allergy. In addition, worry about being stung and also the need to use self-injection of medicine can create or increase anxiety, which can further compromise a patient's ability to enjoy the outdoors and participate in activities. We sought to determine the depression and anxiety in three groups of individuals. We assessed patients with bee sting allergy without epinephrine, bee sting allergy with epinephrine, and bee sting allergy receiving immunotherapy (venom immunotherapy [VIT]). We use two standardized surveys after having Intuitional Review Board approval to determine depression and anxiety in the three cohorts noted previously. We compared the three groups using Wilcoxon rank sum test and statistical significance was considered present for a value of p = 0.05. Overall, the epinephrine group had higher mean anxiety and depression scores compared with the other treatment groups. The VIT group had the lowest mean and median scores for both anxiety and depression. It appears that VIT not only decreases the risk of anaphylaxis and death, but also improves quality of life by reduction of anxiety and depression, especially in female subjects. We found that VIT patients, when compared with nontreated and treated only with epinephrine, had lower anxiety and depression scores.
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Keywords: Anxiety; bee sting allergy; depression; hymenoptera sting allergy; venom immunotherapy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, College of Medicine, Penn State University, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: 01 May 2014

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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